How to Become an Executive Administrator

Find out how to become an executive administrator. Research the education requirements, and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in administrative support.

Should I Become an Executive Administrator?

An executive administrator is responsible for the administrative tasks of corporate executives. In this position, one can expect to conduct research, create statistical reports and prepare agendas for top management. Other tasks may include overseeing the office budget and ordering office supplies. An executive administrator is less likely to perform the basic clerical tasks of a secretary. They may even have some managerial tasks. These professionals usually work in office settings, but some may conduct their work remotely.

A bachelor's degree in a business-related field is beneficial and may be helpful for those looking to become executive administrators. Many applicants also need several years of prior work experience to advance to an executive position. The following table contains the main requirements for being an executive administrator:

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree or higher preferred by many employers
Degree Field Business or a similar field
Experience 3-5 years of related support experience required
Key Skills Organizational, written and verbal communication, interpersonal skills, familiarity with database, spreadsheet, accounting and business software
Salary $53,393 per year (Median salary from July 2, 2015 for all executive administrators)

Sources: CareerBuilder.com job postings (December 2012), Payscale.com, Careerinfonet.org

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

There are no standard prerequisites for executive administration positions. However, many employers prefer applicants to possess a bachelor's degree in business or a like field, as indicated by a December 2012 search of open positions from CareerBuilder.com. Administrative staff may only have a high school diploma or have completed 1-2 year vocational programs in office administration, but executive roles command higher education and related job experience.

Step 2: Complete Basic Administrative Training

Executive administrators typically gain the majority of their experience through on-the-job training. Entry-level administrators can expect to perform basic clerical tasks until they prove that they can perform complex tasks that require increased responsibility. Training may include gaining familiarity with computer software applications, such as those used for database and project management as well attaining proficiency in spreadsheet programs.

Step 3: Advance to the Position

After proving oneself over time or furthering one's training and education, an individual may be promoted from an assistant, administrator or secretary to an executive administrator. Sometimes, an executive administrator may also be in a supervisory position over other clerical or reception staff.

Step 4: Consider Obtaining Professional Certification

Certification isn't required, but it may allow the candidate to stand out and demonstrate expertise in the field. Executive administrators can gain certification through organizations, such as the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). By meeting educational and experience requirements and successfully taking an examination, a candidate can become a Certified Administrative Professional. Recertification occurs every five years and requires continuing education activities. Joining an organization such as the IAAP can expose individuals to networking opportunities, employment assistance and career advancement.

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